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Zuma assigns delegation to address xenophobic violence

Mac Maharaj says government will intensify its efforts to see an end to the xenophobic violence.

Two Zimbabweans were shot dead by a Somalian shopkeeper in Diepsloot, Johannesburg.  Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma has assigned a delegation of government officials to address a flare-up of xenophobic violence in parts of KwaZulu-Natal.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba and State Security Minister David Mahlobo are among those who will be working with the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government to see an end to violent attacks on foreigners.

Two Ethiopian nationals were petrol bombed on Friday when they were sleeping in a container used as a spaza shop.

The two are being treated for burn wounds.

The violence is believed to have been ignited by King Goodwill Zwelithini's calls for foreigners to leave the country, a claim the provincial government has dismissed.

The action follows concerns raised by the African Union this week on the displacement of hundreds of foreign nationals from communities across Durban.

In the most recent attacks two Ethiopian nationals were petrol bombed while sleeping in their tuck shop in Umlazi on Friday.

Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj says government will intensify its efforts to see an end to the violence.

"Not all foreign nationals are living in South Africa illegally and many foreigners contribute to the economy and abide by the country's laws."

A total of 17 people have since been arrested for murders, assault, business robberies and public violence.

Police will continue to maintain a strong presence in areas like Umlazi, Isipingo, Chatsworth and Malukazi this weekend.